We live in a world ruled by technology. We no longer exist in times where computers were only seen in huge offices and corporate houses. Today, every single place we look to has some sort of automation within it. This does not only apply to adults, but children too. Children are more automated now, than ever before. They seem to have been limited to video games and TV for leisure. The question is; how is all of this affecting them? More specifically, how are violent video games influencing them and their behavior? Are they good or bad? What are they teaching to them? Games like Grand Theft Auto (GTA), where blowing heads off and abusing the pedestrians is the very essence of the game, how do they affect our children?
Today it’s common to see a seven-year old shooting people on a screen, playing COD. Even though, the kids enjoy the game, do they realize that it may be coding messages of violence in their brain? Violent video games possibly corrupt the minds of children, subliminally forcing them to adapt, or even love, violence. This often makes them want to kill.
The issue arises when the child is unable to differentiate between the game and reality. As a child, we are immature, incapable of realizing what is fed to us and eventually give in to it. Perhaps, games can be blamed for promoting violence. There are countless examples of when this has happened. Recently in Newtown, Connecticut, a boy was accused of shooting at an elementary school. When researched, it was found out that he loved violent video games which were apparently one of the causes of his action, as said by the NRA. The boy named Adam Lanza, killed his mother and 26 other people.
Similarly, an 8-year old boy was rescued from a car crash, after he attempted to drive himself to school. He claimed to have learnt driving from the famous game “Grand Theft Auto”. As Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President of the NRA said, “There exists in this country a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows violence against its own people through vicious, violent video games like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse.”
So, isn’t it clear that some video games are fueling children to become violent? We know for a fact that kids will imitate anything they see on screen. Do we need to stop them? What do you think?
Moreover, turning kids violent isn’t the only thing; video games are also known to make kids’ anti-social and less productive. These kids as addictive gamers fail to contextualize themselves practically in the real world, consequently becoming social outcasts and rejects. Even though all of this sounds extreme now, it is this plethora of issues caused by video games that in the end cause children to become unacceptable in the society.
But wait, perhaps it isn’t always the video games which are wrong, maybe it’s us! We, as humans ,are known to cheat the rules. Perhaps, the reason these video games make kids violent is that they are not made for them. Proper enforcement of age ratings could fix all of this. If an 8-year old child is restricted to games made for his/her age, rather than playing GTA with a 17+ age rating, we wouldn’t have this problem in the first place.
Regardless, video games might even be the good guys, providing kids a platform to vent out their anger rather than letting it out in real, and the correlation made between video games and violence, be nothing but a myth. It’s hard to definitively say anything. Though, according to statistics on gaming and violence, the sales of video games and violent crime acts have nothing to do with each other. In fact, since 2002, the violent crime rate has decreased by 15.5%, with youth crime being at a 40-year low, while video game sales have been going through the roof. Shooter games like Battlefield and CoD are particularly among the favorites.
So, where to end up with? The debate is indecisive, however we can conclude that even though video games might inflict violence into our minds, especially when looked at with the perspective of secluded cases, such as the shooting in Newtown, they are not the only ones to blame. It is the portrayal of violence in all forms of media that is corrupting the children; be it the internet, television or the next big video game. Proper enforcement of age laws, with restricted content as well as efficient monitoring by the parents, video games are harmless. They are nothing but a world of joy for the kids!